AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Friday, February 7th, 2014

What’s new? Blackface as carnival costume in the Netherlands

By now it should not come as a surprise that in the Netherlands where dressing in blackface is part of the national tradition (read here and here about our December “traditions”) and comes with no consequences, carnival costumes that incorporate racist imagery are also perceived as “normal” and doing good business. However, it still is jarring

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Weekend Music Break 67

We kick off this weekend’s music break with an artist who has been away from the scene for a while: Cape Verdean rapper Vieira Nkosi. This week he uploaded a short freestyle video (in Dutch) entitled “I...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Washington Post predicts a year full of coups in Africa

The Washington Post’s foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher (about whose infatuation with coloured maps we blogged before here and here) posted an entry earlier this week entitled: 'A worrying map of countries most likely to have a...

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

When the Fokn Bois visited a picturesque Dutch village

I have to be honest; I had to Google Map the village of Lieshout to see where it exactly lays. And as a matter of fact I, as a Dutch person, never even knew that it’s the...

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

File under: #SMH Mandela Moments

Out of courtesy for Nelson Mandela’s memory (and the movement that he represented), we decided to hold any posts of #SMH (that’s Shake My Head) moments (basically occasions when you simply ask yourself “Why?”), till after the...

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

When Miley Cyrus met Nigerian parents

It is very likely that Miley Cyrus will end up somewhere in a number of “best of 2013″ lists, for reasons many still struggle to understand. Maybe for culturally appropriating ‘twerking’ and making it popular with white...

Monday, November 18th, 2013

‘Tribal’ Reality Television 2.0

There was this sincere hope that we had seen the end of the so-called ‘tribal reality shows;’ that is television programs where groups of westerners spend some time with one of the ‘last remaining’ or ‘authentic tribes’...

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Heaps of Scrap for Africa

We were almost convinced it was a spoof when we stumbled upon the following video. Entitled ‘Go For Africa’ the video features a number of Dutch people loading a sea container with old stuff and scraps of...

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

What has Steve Bantu Biko got to do with partying and spring in the Netherlands?

What has murdered Black Consciousness activist Steve Bantu Biko to do with the beginning of spring in the Netherlands? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything in school. Steve Biko has indeed nothing to do with the new...

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The Happy Dutch Sprinter

Television commercials can be pretty annoying. With the exception of the few that make you laugh. Quite often it’s the good commercials of which you forget what the company is actually trying to sell. However the annoying...

Friday, March 8th, 2013

How the Africa-China romance is killing Europe

In the past decade the international media first focused on China’s economic boom, which was then followed by the ‘Africa is rising’ narrative. The latter partly as a result of China’s investments. Many have wondered whether China’s...

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

How (not) to report on Kenya’s elections

Kenyans vote today (in some places voting have already started). And somehow, as in any election in any African country, the cliches are not far behind. “Will Kenya fall into mayhem after the results of the general...

Monday, February 11th, 2013

When ‘Africa’ at the Theatre Goes Wrong

Imagine you are a person in the Netherlands interested in African events or at least cultural events where Africa is (supposedly to be) prominently featured and you pick up a flyer of an event saying in Dutch:...

Monday, January 21st, 2013

In search of ‘African redemption’

Traveling ‘off the beaten path’ in Africa seems to have become the next ‘big thing’ for recent graduates looking to set themselves apart from their peers. And what better way to promote yourself (and fund your trip...

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Papa Ghana’s tribute to Amsterdam

For those planning to visit Amsterdam anytime soon, there is no need for a Lonely Planet guide. Just have a listen to Papa Ghana’s new track ‘Damsco’ (slang for ‘Amsterdam’) which he just released. In case you...

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Only decent white people know how to insult in the Netherlands

The most talked about film in the Netherlands now is the comedy Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (“Only Decent People”), which, to be blunt, may shape Dutch views of its black citizens, and Afro-Surinamese in particular, in very...

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Dutch to elect the ‘King of Africa’

Today the Netherlands is holding general elections. Although the global economic crisis and its effect on the Dutch economy dominate these elections, some parties want to make this about Africa.